— Gourgaud’s Journal, 1816 (via bunniesandbeheadings)
"Robespierre’s role in history will always remain obscure. He was overthrown because he wanted to moderate and stop the course of the Revolution. …on the eve of his death he made a magnificent speech in this sense which, however, was never printed. Billaud and the other Terrorists, seeing that he was wearying of the Terror and would unfailingly bring them to justice, concerted against him and incited the moderates to overthrow (as they said) the tyrant, but in reality it was to take his place and intensify the Terror. The people of Paris thought that in removing Robespierre they were destroying tyranny, whereas the purpose of his removal was to make it flourish more luxuriantly than ever. But once Robespierre had fallen, the explosion was such that, in spite of all their efforts, the Terrorists were never able to gain the upper hand again."